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UDODANA set to dazzle eThekwini audiences

Exploring the brokenness of the male black body, its indoctrination and incubation into the systems which play an ignorant role in the development of black power and unity, UDODANA is a full-length, non-verbal dance theatre work put together by the sensational Musa Hlatshwayo.

The piece has been received to standing ovations on all its shows across the country! Now Durbanites will get the chance to experience an evening of extraordinary display of talent at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre this Wednesday the 5th of September.

Despite his hectic schedule as he was preparing for the production, we were honoured with the opportunity to interview the man behind the magic. Born and raised in Maphumulo (province of KwaZulu) Hlatshwayo is a performing artist, choreographer and director. He is also the founder of Mhayise Productions, an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance and theatre performing company which based in Durban.

In his pocket of experience, Hlatshwayo holds a BA Hons in Performance Studies, a Dance and Choreography Diploma, a Postgraduate Certificate in Dance [Education] and a BA in Media and Communication.

“The theme of the work was a personal issue that I had long wanted to articulate in a creative multimedia dance theatre piece. I then decided to create the work.” 

As a choreographer and director whose work is usually seen in local and international dance & arts festivals, his repertoire includes, Ndoni, Ebuthongweni, Yin’iRespect? And many others. Some of his numerous achievements include being awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist for Dance this year and spearheading the 2010 FIFA World Cup opening parade for the Field Band Foundation.

Speaking about UDODANA, Hlatshwayo promises Durbanites a thought provoking, highly creative and innovative piece that renders itself as ‘an experience‘. “It is a poetic collective reference to the sons or the Princes as mostly used in religious structures,” he said.

Hlatshwayo created this piece because he was inspired by his Standard Bank Young Artist award; after the award, he knew that he had to create a new piece. Asked how UDODANA is different from his other productions, Hlatshwayo said that in every way, he has never repeated himself so everything about the piece is entirely different.

The form of advice he would give to other directors, choreographers and performing artists is to continue seeking an understanding of how to work towards owning their narratives, their growth and the voice with which is retold.

The cast of UDODANA is made up of, Sbonelo ‘China’ Mchunu, Njabulo Zungu, Sphakeme Nduli, S’celo Brilliant Mthethwa, Mduduzi Mbuyazi and Nkosing’phile Qolo. The lighting and design is by Lerato Ledwaba. The photography and video is done by Simanga Zondo. Hlatshwayo is also in charge of the directing, choreography, costume and set design.

For more details, you may call this number: +27 83 7511 146 or send an Email to

photos supplied by Jan Potgieter – Mhayise Productions facebook group 

~ Thabile Shange 

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